Surveys are showing that people are losing trust in leadership in all areas of our society. This lack of trust is creating an increasing gap between leadership and the people they are leading making it harder for leadership and the employees to come together and achieve the results needed to sustain a competitive advantage for the business. Here are some recent survey results that show how bad this gap between leadership and the workforce has become:
Ø 65% of workers would choose a better boss over a raise (Forbes.com 2012)
Ø Only 35% of people are happy in their job (Forbes.com 2012)
Ø The majority of people said they trust a stranger more than their boss (Harvard Business Review 2009)
Ø Fewer than 40% of employees are motivated by their supervisor to give their best (DDI 2012)
The definition of INSANITY is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results! Many leaders are very frustrated in their roles because they are not finding the joy and happiness they thought having a title and being able to tell people what to do would bring. Many thought a title would make it easy to lead people because their people would just do whatever they were told. What a surprise when these leaders found that it’s not really about titles but about influence which is earned over time by our actions and relationships with those we lead.
Many companies do not have the right training process in place that can help leaders become the kind of leader that energizes, motivates, mentors, and helps their people discover and reach their potential. Most training programs seem to be just about giving out some information instead of bringing about real change in their leaders. Training and teaching are one of the most important ingredients for a business to find real success. If leaders aren’t growing, it isn’t likely their people are either.
What Leaders Need To Understand To Become An Effective Servant Leader
We get what we allow to happen as leaders. We must learn to be honest with ourselves, to look in the mirror first before we start looking for others to blame. Self-awareness is the strength of a servant leader. It helps them see how their imperfect moments and actions (which we all have) impact their people. It helps them be honest with themselves as to who they are and what do they need to do differently to grow their people.
If we want our people to change we must model the behavior we want to see in our people. We must teach and coach them not just tell them what to do and then go back to our offices and hope they change. Hope is not a strategy!
Leaders must transfer ownership for the work and results to those who do the work and insure those closest to the action are involved in decision making. This is so they not only feel responsible, but also be responsible for the results. This is hard for many leaders because they have been taught that they must be the smartest person in the room and come up with all the answers. Then we wonder why leaders always feel overwhelmed and left with no time to get to the things that are really important for growing their people and business.
In a servant leadership environment LEADERS cannot have their people waiting on them to tell them what to do. Help your people use their personalities, brains, passion and abilities. As their leader, see their diversity of skills, personalities, and talents as a major strength to be developed and nurtured. If you don’t see or understand their differences, you will end up “leading generically” which means you put everyone in the same box. Diversity requires us as leaders to use different disciplines and motivations based on the needs of our people. It requires that leaders build relationships with their people so they get to know who their people really are.
Simply put in the business world servant leadership helps companies and leaders move away from the “boss” model which is about self and making people do things, to the “servant” model of helping people accomplish things. It’s about seeing people’s potential. Servant leaders make a difference in the lives of those who walk through the door each day to produce products and serve customers. Servant leaders help their people feel a part of something bigger than themselves and accomplish more than they ever thought possible. Real servant leadership builds an environment of trust and respect between leadership and their people. Servant leaders recognize that their workforce comes to work with their dreams, skills, goals, and potential for achieving something great and the role of leadership is to help them reach and discover their potential and help their people grow.
Servant Leaders And Their Five Keys for Energizing Their People And Business Results